NEW YORK– On June 24, Fleur De Vie (Flower of Life) closed the month of June with its annual food tasting fundraising brunch “La Palette Saisonniere Du Chef” (Chef’s Seasonal Palette) at New York’s French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF). The New York-based nonprofit partners with existing organizations looking to implement social change in their communities. Proceeds from the annual tasting event is used to support Fleur De Vie’s education programs in Haiti. This year a special emphasis was put on the organization’s focus to help rebuild a school in Anse a Veau.
Special guest included CBS News Correspondent, Vladimir Duthiers, who kept the audience engaged while introducing this year’s featured chef, Cynthia Verna from South Florida. Verna, who is more widely known as “Chef Thia” is known for infusing Caribbean, African, Latin, Asian, French, and Mediterranean flavors into her Haitian fine dining repertoire. Last year, she became the first woman to win the Global Chef Challenge in Washington DC, representing the Haitian Embassy and beating master chefs from 36 other countries.
Dayanne Danier, cofounder and chair of Fleur De Vie, has used the tasting event to highlight chefs from the Haiti. Past participating chefs included Ron Duprat, David Destinoble, Lucmann Pierre
and Stephan Durand.
“What started off as Chef Ron Duprat’s gesture of wanting to fundraise for Fleur De Vie has morphed into the organization’s way of promoting another side of Haiti, while at the same time fundraising for our educational programs on the ground,” Danier said. “We’ve created a platform for Haitian chefs to showcase their work in the heart of New York City at a prestigious venue, French Institute Alliance Francaise. The event has become a Haitian cultural event included gastronomy, art, and music. Exactly what one would find when they go to a Haitian household on a Sunday afternoon.”
Guests were also treated to a live performance by Haitian recording artist Michael “Mikaben” Benjamin, who released his latest album #MKBN in May, and music by DJ Super Duke from Boston.
“The board and I want fundraising to be something that not only tells guests about the work of Fleur De Vie, but gives a different perspective to Haitian culture as well,” Danier who is also designer of Bien Abiye.
“Le Palette Saisonniere Du Chef” was sponsored by Boukman rum, Valmas Cremas, Ida J &Co, Royal Decameron, and Marriott Haiti.